Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Order on Competency Hearing for Mitchell Paul Modeleski aka Paul Andrew Mitchel"

See other formats


Case 2:14-cr-00027-NDF Document 127 Filed 07/15/14 Page 1 of 5 



FILED 



IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 



FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING 




UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 



1:35 pm, 7/15/14 

Stephan Harris 
Clerk of Court 



Plaintiff, 



vs. 



Case No: 14-CR-027-F 



MITCHELL PAUL MODELESKI, aka 
Paul Andrew Mitchell, 



Defendant. 



ORDER ON COMPETENCY HEARING 



This matter is before the Court pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4247(d) to determine 
Defendant Mitchell Paul Modeleski a/k/a Paul Andrew Mitchell's (Mitchell) 
competency to stand trial in this matter. On March 25, 2014, the Court entered an 
Order Granting Motion for Psychiatric or Psychological Examination. (Doc. 64). 
Clinical forensic psychologist, Dr. Cynthia Low, examined Mitchell for purposes of 
completing a report pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 4247(c). Dr. Low completed her report 
on May 28, 2014. The Court originally set a competency hearing for June 3, 2014. 
(Doc. 91). At the June 3, 2014 hearing, Defendant Mitchell stated he was not ready 
to go forward with the competency hearing, and he would need additional time to 
review the report. (Doc. 93). Mitchell also requested new counsel. The Court 
allowed the additional time and also appointed Mr. Mitchell new counsel. 



Case 2:14-cr-00027-NDF Document 127 Filed 07/15/14 Page 2 of 5 



The Court set a new competency hearing for July 10, 2014. (Doc. 96). At the 
July 10, 2014 hearing, the Government presented evidence from Dr. Cynthia Low 
regarding the preparation of her report. Defendant Mitchell's counsel then 
thoroughly cross-examined Dr. Low regarding the basis for her report. Next, 
Defendant Mitchell took the stand and provided some personal history and also 
related the events that led him to the federal courthouse in Wyoming. 

Dr. Low's May 28, 2014 evaluation notes some deficiencies because Dr. Low 
was not able to fully interview and test Mitchell because he was uncooperative. 
Nonetheless, the report discloses that Mitchell spoke spontaneously about many of 
the matters which directly address competency issues. 

Therefore, based on this report, the Court finds Defendant Mitchell has an 
above average ability to understand the nature and consequences of the court 
proceedings against him. However, the Court finds, based on the report, the 
information present in the file in this matter, and the Court's observation of 
Defendant's remarks, behavior and demeanor in the courtroom, and pursuant to 18 
U.S.C. 4241(d), there is abundant evidence Defendant suffers from a mental 
disorder, namely Delusional Disorder, Mixed Type evidencing symptoms related to 
both Grandiose and Persecutory Types. It is the Court's conclusion that this mental 
disorder, combined with narcissistic traits substantially impairs Defendant's ability 
to represent himself or to assist counsel in his defense. 



2 



Case 2:14-cr-00027-NDF Document 127 Filed 07/15/14 Page 3 of 5 



To provide further explanation, it appears Mitchell's planned legal defense is 
based on his unwavering delusion that all government officials he deals with, from 
the US Attorney and his assistant US Attorneys, the judge, the clerk, the deputy clerk, 
judicial staff, etc., all lack the authority of their duly appointed offices because these 
government officials, this judge included, either will not provide to him some proper 
form or credential he believes we all lack, and because he further believes all forms 
and credentials he might ever receive are counterfeit. Dr. Low's report indicates the 
investigative reports show Mitchell has been sending letters to federal judges 
nationwide demanding proof of credentials since 1998. Those reports further show 
Mitchell has been deemed a mass mailer by the Threat Management Center. This 
and other conduct, which can be fairly characterized as a national campaign to 
expose imposters posing as government officials based on missing credentials, this 
appears to be the result of the Defendant holding very extreme and rigid views 
about the law and the overarching significance of seals, signatures and control 
numbers. 

While Mitchell's thought processes are linear, clear and coherent on these 
points, they are fraught with delusional content. Further, he appears convinced that 
only his view of the law is correct and it appears unlikely he will ever consider 
alternate viewpoints of opinions as long as he remains in this acute episode. As a 
subset of these delusions, it appears he has contrived the further delusion, which 
Mitchell may be considering as his main legal defense, namely that the U.S. Marshals 

3 



Case 2:14-cr-00027-NDF Document 127 Filed 07/15/14 Page 4 of 5 



asked for his assistance to expose this counterfeit and/or missing credential 
situation and the resulting "racketeering" by hordes of imposters posing as duly 
authorized government officials. 

The test for competency to stand trial is whether a defendant "has sufficient 
present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational 
understanding-and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the 
proceedings against him." United States v. Mackovich, 209 F.3d 1227, 1232 (10th Cir. 
2000] (quotations omitted]. According to Dr. Low, and based on the Court's 
observations, Mitchell has no insight into his delusional disorder, but rather 
becomes quite insulted when his mental health is called into question. Mitchell 
strongly believes the people he deals with are idiots or otherwise lack his high 
intelligence and legal knowledge. Mitchell's rigid view of the law, his unwillingness 
to consider alternate views of opinions, his grandiose sense of his own self- 
importance, and his resulting arrogant and haughty attitude, further undermine 
Mitchell's ability to either fairly and adequately represent himself in this case, or to 
assist counsel. 

While the Court understands a defendant has the constitutional right to waive 
his right to counsel, that right is not absolute. Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 
(1975]. A Faretta motion may be denied if the defendant is not competent to 
represent himself. See Indiana v. Edwards, 554 U.S. 164, 177-178 (2008]("[T]he 
Constitution permits judges to take realistic account of the particular defendant's 

4 



Case 2:14-cr-00027-NDF Document 127 Filed 07/15/14 Page 5 of 5 

mental capacities by asking whether a defendant who seeks to conduct his own 
defense at trial is mentally competent to do so."]. The Court's finding and 
conclusion is Mitchell is not competent to represent himself for the same mental- 
illness-related limitations which support the conclusion that he is not competent to 
assist counsel in his defense. 



The Court FINDS that Mitchell is not competent to represent himself in this 
matter. Further, the Court FINDS Mitchell is not competent to assist counsel in his 
defense in this case and therefore, he is not competent to proceed to trial at this 
time. 

IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Mitchell is remanded to the custody of the 
Attorney General and Defendant Mitchell shall undertake formal competency 
restoration procedures at a qualified federal medical center. The Court 
recommends Defend Mitchell be assigned to MCFP Springfield for these restoration 
procedures. 

Dated this J'J. day of July, 2014. 



CONCLUSION 




5